Beachside town battered by Hurricane Michael

James Marshall
October 12, 2018

Downed power lines lay almost everywhere, while pine trees were stripped and snapped off about 20 feet high. Long urged residents in the Carolinas to heed warnings and take the tropical storm seriously. Michael's eye came ashore near Mexico Beach, about 20 miles (32km) southeast of Panama City.

Home after home was razed from its foundations in the town of around 1,000 people, leaving just bare concrete slabs. "We worked all night in endangered circumstances".

A National Guard team got into Mexico Beach and found 20 survivors overnight, and more crews were pushing into the area in the morning, with the fate of many residents unknown, authorities said.

Here, boats docked in Panama City, Fla., are seen in a pile of rubble after Michael passed through the downtown area on Wednesday. It weakened steadily as it traveled inland over the Panhandle.

At least seven people were killed by the storm in Florida, Georgia and North Carolina from falling trees and other hurricane-related incidents, according to state officials.

Nearly 1.2 million homes and businesses were without power from Florida to Virginia on Thursday because of the storm. Some hospitals and other medical facilities were damaged, but he said hospitals would only be evacuated in a worse-case scenario. Wind damage was also evident.

They turned out to be correct, as warm ocean waters and a lack of wind shear - which are powerful opposing winds that can topple hurricanes - set the stage for the storm's intensification.

It has since been downgraded to a tropical storm as it moves through the Carolinas, which are still recovering from last month's Hurricane Florence.

Horrific before and after photos have captured the utter devastation inflicted by Hurricane Michael after it crashed into several small towns on the Florida Panhandle with near-record force. Only Hurricane Camille on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in 1969 and the so-called Labor Day hurricane of 1935 in the Florida Keys were more intense.

President Donald Trump told reporters he will most likely visit Florida on Sunday or Monday to meet with local officials and survey damage from the storm.

"There were mandatory evacuation orders, but only idiots like us stuck around", said Jordon Tood, 31, a charter boat captain in Port St. Joe.

Michael, the third-most powerful hurricane ever to hit the U.S. mainland, weakened overnight to a tropical storm and pushed north-east, bringing drenching rains to Georgia and the Carolinas, which are still recovering from Hurricane Florence last month.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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